Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)
A perennial plant without chlorophyll
I always get a little excited when I see an Indian Pipe along the trail. (That small white area to the white of the trail in this photo.)
I always thought they were a fungus, but apparently they are a parasitic plant that feeds on decaying wood.
They are also called corpse plant or ghost plant.
Less common than the white variety, there are pink variations.
Perhaps this line of plants is feeding on a downed limb or tree.
Because they do not produce food with chlorophyll, they can grow in very dark parts of the forest where other plants can't survive.
Some areas have many plants.
This similar plant (Monotropa hypopitys) is called Dutchman's Pipe or Pinesap or Yellow Bird's-Nest.
We only found a few examples of it.
Who knew that there are parasitic plants thriving in our local forests?
19 hours ago